catamaran and sailboat

Catamaran Cruising is Different than Sailing a Sailboat— But Why?

Written by Boatsetter Team
October 3, 2019

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Catamaran sailing has become more popular with the general public over the past few years, mostly because catamarans are a lot easier to sail than other types of boats, and they can also be a lot safer, especially if you don’t really know how to sail. In the next few paragraphs, we will explain exactly what a catamaran is and what a sailboat is, and also look at some of the ways your sailing experiences might vary when you are using each type of boat. Finally, we’ll look at a few of the types of boats that you can start renting right away through Boatsetter.

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A Basic Guide: What is a Catamaran?

Catamarans offer smooth sailing because they lie very flat on the water, and you anchor them in shallow water. A catamaran rental is ideal when you are looking for maximum comfort and relaxation. The most important thing to know about a catamaran is that it has two hulls that are connected to each other by crossbeams. Each of the hulls generally houses a sleeping room. This means there is a lot of individual space, which can make a catamaran ideal for longer rental periods. Some catamarans even feature another level called a flybridge, as well as netting between the hulls. You’ve probably seen pictures like this of people relaxing on the netting while sailing through placid waters.

Choosing a catamaran rental is often safer than choosing another type of boat because catamarans have two engines and two rudders, as well as level decks with wide passageways. These wide, level decks can help those who suffer from seasickness because they can feel more secure on the water. It is extremely rare for these boats to flip over. The only time that might happen is with very high winds, too much sail, and big waves breaking over the boat.

A catamaran rental is an excellent option if you are hosting a large group of people and if you plan to have a lot of food and drink on the boat. Some perfect occasions for a catamaran rental might include weddings, birthday parties, or any other special types of celebrations that involve a large crowd. The most noticeable difference when you are sailing a catamaran is that there is no “heeling”. In other words, the ship remains level on the water most of the time. This makes these types of boats more relaxing and convenient for casual sailors.

A Basic Guide: What is a Sailboat?

Sailboats come in a wide range of shapes and sizes and there is no easy way of defining a sailboat, except to say that it is a boat propelled partly or entirely by sails. Operating a sailboat can be great fun because there is a lot of skill and technical expertise involved in making sure the boat goes where you want it to go. On a sailboat, you can learn new skills or enhance the ones you already have, such as learning how to hoist sails or jibe and tack. Even learning how to tie a new knot can be quite a large accomplishment for a budding sailor.

When you rent a sailboat, it is best to know what you are doing, or if you are an inexperienced sailor, you also have the option of hiring a knowledgeable captain who can help you navigate rougher waters. Among other things, a boat captain will help you troubleshoot any mechanical failures on the sailboat, monitor the weather closely to help avoid a change in plans, act as an expert in an emergency situation, and help you docking/undock or load/unload the sailboat. Sometimes a captain will be able to share local boating and geographical knowledge as well.

If you decide to rent a sailboat, it is best to choose a boat that you are already comfortable with or something only just beyond your skill level. Sailboats up to 18 feet without a motor are generally the easiest boats to control, but even these require at least some level of technical expertise. If you do not have enough experience with the size of the boat you want to rent, then it is best to invite a fellow sailor along on the trip with you so that you have as much experience as possible at the helm.

So Which Type of Boat Should I Choose?

To be an effective sailor, it takes a good mixture of specific knowledge, honed skills, and a natural instinct for the wind and the feel of the boat. The entire sailing experience can be completely different depending on whether you rent a catamaran or whether you rent a sailboat. The motion of each of the boats is different, you have to trim the sails differently, and you also have to deal with lots of other factors that you might not be used to. As mentioned above, catamarans are better for those who perhaps don’t have the same level of sailing skill as other more experienced sailors. If you are really just hoping to enjoy a calm, peaceful cruise without much turbulence, a catamaran is certainly the better choice.

Sailing has a whole glossary of terms that you will need to know if you rent a sailboat. Words and expressions like port, starboard, leeward, halyard, helms alee, rode, tacking, gybing, and eye of the wind are some common sailing terms. We really recommend that you familiarize yourself with boating terminology if you are going to rent a sailboat. Here is a list of 50 basic sailing terms that every beginner should know.

If you seek more action and excitement while you are out on the water, deciding to rent a sailboat is the best option if you already have a fair amount of experience as a sailor. It is important to note, though, that sailboats (especially the bigger ones) can also be very hard to handle in rough weather, so it is always best to try and avoid any types of extreme conditions as much as you can. Again, if you don’t want to take on the responsibilities of captaining your ship, we have experienced boat captains available to do all the hard work for you.

How to Rent a Catamaran or Rent a Sailboat through Boatsetter

Whether you choose to be completely in charge of your vessel or whether you choose to hire a captain on the water, we can help you book an unforgettable adventure on either a catamaran rental or if you decide to rent a sailboat. Boatsetter connects boat seekers with all types of catamarans and sailboats in many locations throughout the USA as well as internationally. Remember, too, that here at Boatsetter, catamaran rentals and sailboat rentals can be booked within a wide range of budgets. To start browsing the entire Boatsetter fleet of catamarans and sailboats, visit Boatsetter and enter in your desired location.

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